Fado is a musical style that portrays the essence, the longing and the feelings of the Portuguese people. Its spontaneity takes us back to the 19th century, when its songs began to become popular in the streets of Lisbon. Since then, several songs and artists have immortalized themselves in time.
In this article, we highlight some of the classics of Portuguese Fado. These songs continue to be interpreted by amateur fado singers in fado houses from north to south of the country and by some of the most important names in Portuguese music.
1. Povo que Lavas no Rio, by Amália Rodrigues
“Povo que Lavas no Rio” is one of Amália Rodrigues’ best known songs. Written by the poet Pedro Homem de Mello and with music by Joaquim Campos it was first performed in 1964. After that it was sung by other names of Portuguese music, such as António Variações, Mariza and Dulce Pontes.
2. Ó Gente da Minha Terra, by Mariza
Originally written by Amália Rodrigues, this poem would be interpreted by Mariza in 2001. Since then, the song has traveled the four corners of the world and been interpreted by various artists. It is one of the best known Portuguese songs nationally and internationally.
3. Grândola, Vila Morena, by Zeca Afonso
“Grândola, Vila Morena” is a song written and performed by Zeca Afonso in late 1971. It became known as the Hymn of the Revolution of April 25, 1974, the first step towards the Portuguese democratic regime. Later that year, Amália Rodrigues gave voice to this song, giving it her personal touch.
4. Lisboa Menina e Moça”, by Carlos do Carmo
“Lisboa Menina e Moça” is a song by Carlos do Carmo present in the album “Uma Canção para a Europa”, released in 1976. After the death of the fado singer in 2021, this song was consecrated the official music of the city of Lisbon.
5. Sei de um Rio, by Camané
It is from Camané’s fifth album, “Sempre de Mim”, released in 2008 that the song “Sei de um Rio” comes out. This song, one of the singer’s biggest hits, is a mixture of memories and nostalgia, inspired by a river.